How We Met
In the Spring of 2012, I received a text from my mother. No words, just a picture of a gorgeous blonde. At the time I had no idea what was happening but only that I needed to meet that girl. Little did I know what was really going on – Amanda and I each had an older sister who was both the same age and both in the same sorority at the University of Missouri. Our sister quickly becomes friends and when they both realized they each had a younger sibling who would be attending MU in the fall that’s when our love story began. During the Sorority’s annual Mom’s Weekend, Bridget and Mallory, along with our mom’s started their scheming on setting Amanda and I up. Looking back at it now I am sure glad they did! This is when my mom sent me Amanda’s picture.
Fast forward to the following fall, I was just getting to a party during the first week of school, and lo and behold, who do I see across the hall but that same blonde beauty from the picture I had revived months before? I am not sure about love at first sight, but I do know that at that moment, I realized she was one of a kind. But I was just arriving, and she was just leaving, so she slipped through my fingers. A few weeks went by and I could not stop thinking about her. It took a slightly awkward arranged meeting at a fraternity car wash to finally bring us together.
Our sisters, Bridget and Mallory, had ambushed Amanda one afternoon and convinced her she needed to get her car washed. It just so happened that my fraternity was having a car wash that day that I was running. This is where we finally, officially met. Bridget and Mallory had done their work, and now it was time for me to do mine. After some persistent DM-ing, we had our first date. It wasn’t the best first date, I forgot to make reservations at the restaurant which made us late to our movie where I had to go around in the dark theater and ask people to move so that Amanda and I could sit together. I must have done something right though because that date lead to another, and another.
By Valentine’s Day, I knew I wanted to make our relationship official. That night I arrived at her dorm room with a bouquet of flowers with a small note tucked inside asking her to be my girlfriend. Even though, early on I was always afraid that I was much more into her than she into me, slowly won her over. Now here we are 6, almost 7, years later ready to make a lifelong commitment to one another. It’s been quite the ride so far, but I know the best is yet to come.
How They Asked
Here is the full story of the incredible proposal Jack planned on our trip to Maui in March. Every aspect of it showed just how well he knows me and how special he wanted to make it. It may not be everyone’s idea of the perfect moment but it sure was for us.
It all started with a knock on the hotel door while I was getting ready for what I thought was a brunch date. I opened the door to find an adorable stuffed owl
“Hedwig” holding a Hogwarts acceptance letter with my name on it! A little confused and with lots of excitement and curiosity I opened the letter. The letter explained that I was expected at Hogwarts shortly, but before I could go I would need to find and collect a few items hidden around the hotel grounds.
So I was off, and with the help of Jack’s sister Bridget, I followed each clue to the next.
Clue 1 – The Acceptance Letter
“Dear Ms. Smith, we are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Please find your list of all necessary books & supplies below. The term will begin now. We await your presence at the wizard chessboard in the Great Hall. You have been assigned the role of Queen.”
List of Supplies:
– 1 super cute dress
– 1 snowy owl
– 1 potion recipe
– 1 Library Key
– 1 Hogwarts Express Ticket
– 1 Marauders’ Map
Good thing I was already dressed and ready for “brunch” cus I was soo excited I booked it to the life-size chess game in the middle of the hotel lobby like I was a little kid on Christmas! Under the Queen chess piece, I found clue #2.
Clue 2 – Liquid Luck
“Congratulations on your success in the first trial! Below is a list of ingredients needed for a particularly special potion. Seek out the potions master & request this potion by name. With luck, you may find it at the Three Broomsticks.”
– Ashwinder egg
– Squill Bulb
– Murtlap Tentacle
– Tincture of Thyme
– Occamy Eggshell
– Powdered Common Rue
Now I would have never been able to guess the potion of the ingredients list alone but I had a feeling it was Felix Felicis or “Liquid Luck”. So I proceed to the hotel bar where I received a shot of Liquid Luck (aka Fireball) Side note it was 9 am so the shot was for sure a little hard to take! After taking the shot I was handed a big metal old-fashion key and Clue 3.
Clue 3 – The Restricted Section
“This clue gives you access to the “Restricted Section” of the library where you will find a book of great importance. Within the book you seek, is the necessary information to complete the remainder of your journey.”
In the hotel Library, which admittedly took me a little while to find, I found the “Restricted Section”. There on the shelf was the 6th Harry Potter book. I opened the book to the page bookmarked by the next clue, Chapter 15 – The Unbreakable Vow. This is when I felt the butterflies fill up inside. All along I had this little inkling in the back of my head saying “this is it” but the other part of me must have been just too excited or in shock cus I hadn’t fully let it set in until this moment. I knew what must be coming but I didn’t have any idea how it was all going to come together because still, Jack was nowhere in sight.
Clue 4 – Hogwarts Express Ticket
“Take this ticket to the muggle transportation station, where you will find a secret entrance to Platform 9 3/4. Your classmate awaits your presence at the whomping willow upon your arrival”
At the valet, the station was Jack’s dad waiting to drive me to the final location.
After winding through the Maui countryside. We came to a stop on the side and I looked up to see Jack waiting there for me. He helped me out of the car and handed me the 2nd to last clue, a beautiful, hand-drawn special version of the Marauders Map. Inside the map was 2 sets of footprints, mine, and Jacks, winding along a forest path with the inscription “After All This Time”.
We followed the map along a trail into the most magical and mystical jungle I’ve ever seen. After a few wrong turns, the map ended at a huge moss-covered tree, aka the “Whomping Willow”. At the base of the tree was resting a shiny little Golden Snitch. I reached down and opened the snitch to find the final clue, it was a small piece of paper that simply read “Always”. ✨
At this point I was a sobbing, shaking, and red in the face but when I looked up from the clue Jack was there on one knee 💛.
Jack had worked ahead of time with a local photographer/proposal planner, Engaged on Maui, to help find the location and capture the whole thing. After the epic knee drop, the photographer appeared from her secret hiding spot and we got to spend the next few hours capturing moments in the jungles and along the cliffsides of Maui.
Major credit goes to Jack’s sister Bridget for helping jack make all the clues, including hand drawing the acceptance letter and Marauders Map.